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What Are Literature, Philosophy & History For? Alain de Botton Explains with Monty Python-Style Videos

Alain de Botton presents three short films about why we study Literature, Philosophy and History Once upon a time, questions about the use-value of art were the height of philistinism. “All art is quite useless,” wrote the aesthete Oscar Wilde, presaging the attitudes of modernists to come. Explaining this statement in a letter to a Read MoreRead More

The Unexpected Math Behind Van Gogh’s “Starry Night”

Physicist Werner Heisenberg said, “When I meet God, I am going to ask him two questions: why relativity? And why turbulence? I really believe he will have an answer for the first.” As difficult as turbulence is to understand mathematically, we can use art to depict the way it looks. Natalya St. Clair illustrates how Read MoreRead More

Five Fallacies and How to Argue on the Internet (and IRL)

Arguing on the internet, everyone’s favorite pastime! But unfortunately, some people don’t do it very well — or at least they could do it better. You owe it to them (and yourself!) to help them out and make their claims and/or arguments less fallacious. In doing so, you’ll increase the quality of discourse between the Read MoreRead More

How Facebook Is Changing the Way Its Users Consume Journalism

A study says 30 percent of adults in America get news from the social network – how does this affect the way Journalism is consumed? Many of the people who read this article will do so because Greg Marra, 26, a Facebook engineer, calculated that it was the kind of thing they might enjoy. Mr. Read MoreRead More

All about the Serpentine Dance

The Serpentine Dance was one of the first things captured by Edison’s film cameras – but what was the Serpentine Dance? Who? The serpentine dance emerged during the late nineteenth century. It evolved from the skirt dance, a form of early burlesque in which moving figures were swathed in light fabric and optical shadows to Read MoreRead More

17 Awesome and Weird Bill Murray-Inspired Products

What can’t Bill Murray do? Here at mental_floss, we love Bill Murray, who is always doing awesome stuff—so when I decided to brainstorm art for our newly renovated office, it wasn’t hard to decide where to start. In the process, I discovered so many awesome Bill Murray-inspired things available for purchase, so I threw this Read MoreRead More

Why Does Mario’s Jump Feel So Awesome? | Game/Show

Mario jumps. This may seem insanely obvious, but it’s more significant than you may know. For such a ubiquitous game mechanic, it’s not such an obvious movement to include. Humans, for instance, are TERRIBLE at jumping. But Mario is, like, CRAZY good at it. So what is it about Mario’s jump that inspired hundreds of Read MoreRead More

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